Skip to main content
Scenes from Women's Studies

Male student response to WMS 150: Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies, Spring 2011

"It is instances like those where I say to myself, “How did I even hold girls to such a low standard prior to this course?”

     This course has been one of the most interesting courses I have taken this semester. It is one of the most interesting because I can take all the material and put it in a perspective that I can relate to. One of the things that this class has done for me was making me realize how I criticize women without even knowing it. What I mean by criticizing women is that I almost held them to a lower regard. Prior to this course, I didn’t realize the effect of “girl watching.” My buddies and I would do it all the time. Whether it be walking around campus looking around to see who could find a “smokeshow,” or eating dinner and girl watching. Prior to this course, it was all just good fun. But when these topics arose in class, it made me take a step back and realize that I’m not acting in a professional manner. My behaviors were almost child-like; and prior to taking this course, never made me think about how a girl felt if she caught us watching her.

    I never once even considered how violated a girl must feel once she catches guys staring her down. At first, I thought that is she does, it probably will make her feel better knowing she is hot and has guys looking at her. But to really sum up how a girl feels when she is being watched, I will quote my girlfriend when I asked her to go in to the weight room at school with me instead of just staying in the cardio room she said, “No, guys are pigs, the second you step foot in there, they undress you with their eyes and make you feel so uncomfortable.”

    Lastly, I wanted to say that this class has made me frown upon the actions of my fraternity brothers. Now they are my brothers, and that is a special bond, but when it comes to party life, there is a lot wrong. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t just straight up disrespect girls, as we have an image to keep on campus. But what is said when girls aren’t around is the problem. Prior to every social we have, the mentality is basically:  Let’s drink ‘til we blackout and get with a slut. Once I got a girlfriend, it made me step back and watch everything go down. People get drunk and call a girl a slut to her face, or fat, or some other insult. Like its insane, we had an instance where we had an open house party and a couple girls wanted to get in but the house was full. We told them no and they said fine, we don’t even want to be here. And one of my brothers said, of course not, that’s why you’re dressed like a slut. He was met with a firm slap to the face from the girl. 

     In summary, it is instances like those where I say to myself, “How did I even hold girls to such a low standard prior to this course?” This course has taught me more of a respect towards girls to the point where I try to think what is going through their mind when I see them noticing someone is watching them (as creepy as that sounds). So, I just wanted to say thank you for this interesting course; and I hope you continue to offer it.